Agri Business

Farmers’ collective to help rebuild Kerala

Our Bureau Kochi | Updated on November 04, 2018

Idukki bore the brunt of the Kerala floods (file photo)   -  Special Arrangement

Project to help farmers rebuild their farms and tackle the effects of climate change

Manarcadu Social Service Society (MASS), a collective of more than 5000 organic farmers, will launch 'Rebuild Kerala 2021', a unique sustainable development to help farmers in Idukki to rebuild their farms and livelihoods through organic farming.

According to Bijumon Kurien, President of MASS, more than 100 organic farmers from cross country would attend the launch which will be held at Idinjamala in Idukki on November 26. They would take part in a planting event and would contribute seedlings for ‘Rebuild Kerala 2021’ mission.

“This coming together of organic farmers beyond borders is expected to create a farming reform movement not only in Kerala, but across India,” said Kurian.

Farmer-focused project

Initially, around 2 lakh freely distributed saplings would be organically cultivated in the fertile hill tracts of Idukki. Within three years’ time, MASS plans to plant 1 million saplings and reach out to farmers across Kerala.

The focus area—the Western Ghats, which is a bio-diversity hotspot—would benefit from these efforts and would also help mitigate the effects of climate change. The project has been designed to help farmers rebuild their farms and livelihoods which they lost in the recent floods.

Saplings of herbs, spices, fruits, vegetables, coffee and cocoa would be distributed to the farmers and they would also be given material and advisory assistance in sustainable and organic-certified practices. Plantrich, the marketing arm of MASS, will also offer 100 per cent buyback of the produces and help farmers in processing the products to materialise better value addition.

The farmer-focused project will associate with NGOs working in the region to involve more than 1,00,000 families across 52 panchayats and two municipalities of Idukki.

The 3-year project will have several phases focused on different aspects of farmer development that including organic farming, employment and eco-tourism.

Published on November 04, 2018

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